Toshiba Libretto 50CT

The Toshiba Libretto was an instant smash hit when first released in Japan. But not soon after, this super-tiny portable computer was also released to other markets, where it’s found a strong following.

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Historic Overview

It premiered in Japan in 1996, then still equipped with an 80486DX4 CPU clocked at 75 MHz and nobody could tell it would become an instant smash hit: The Toshiba Libretto was the smallest ever computer at the time to come fully equipped and capable of running Microsoft Windows.

Toshiba Libretto 50CT

In 1997, Toshiba then released an updated Libretto to foreign markets, where it immediatelly gathered a strong following as well.

Reasons for this were manfold: It was small in size, not bigger than a typical paperback book. With some 850 gramms it was lightweight. It had a Pentium CPU, giving ample of power on the go. It sported 16 MiB of RAM and hard drives starting at 810 MiB.
And while not the first-ever computer this small in size (the HP 95/100/200 where in fact a bit smaller, but never near as powerful), it was truely the first ever to be as full-featured and compatible as this one, really delivering the promise of mobile computing to the user.

Capable of runing Windows 95 and up, the entire set of software was available on the go. Of course, one could take a regurlar notebook computer, but these were bulkier and heavier. In that respect, the Libretto clearly predates many of the later generations subnotebooks and ultra mobile computers, such as the Asus Eee PC 4G (701), the Sony Vaio VGN-UX280P UMPC or the GPD Pocket.

Toshiba also offered many accessories such as external floppy drives, external CD-ROM drives, port replicators and even entire docking stations. Using the latter, the Libretto could be used as a desktop replacement at home, while still exposing unveiled never seen-before mobile computing power on the go.

 

Specs

The PHINTAGE Collection currently holds a Toshiba Libreto 50 CT.

Vendor Toshiba Corporation
Model Libretto 50CT
Released 1997
Original Streetprice 4199 Deutsch Mark
Weight 850 gramms
Dimensions 21 cm x 11.5 cm x 3.3 cm
Builtin Display Yes, 6.2″ Active Matrix TFT
Builtin Battery Yes, 1.2 Ah
CPU Intel Pentium P54C @ 100 MHz
(originally a 75 MHz, this CPU was overclock by the previous owner)
RAM 32 MiB
Storage
  • 8 GiB PATA hdd (original hard drive replaced by previous owner)
  • 3.5″ 1.4 MiB floppy drive (external, via PCMCIA adapter)
Network Support optional (via PCMCIA adapter)
USB optional (via PCMCIA adapter)
Video Output yes, via docking station or port replicator
Other RS232, Parallel Port, PS/2 connectors, VGA via docking station or port replicator, extra PCMCIA slot available via docking station
Operating System Windows 98
Overall Condition
  • very good conditions, nalmost no signs of use
  • Battery still holding some charge, but near end-of-live
Restoration Parts needed
  • Replacement battery

Gallery

Coming soon.

Downloads

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